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Are you prepared for gray divorce?

If you and your spouse are over 50 and are considering divorce after more than 20 years together, you may be part of the growing trend of gray divorce. While no one should have to stay inside an unhappy marriage no matter how long it has persisted, the reality of the matter is that divorces between couples who have been together for a long time are usually significantly more complicated than those between younger, less established couples.

While each couple's circumstances are different, many of the moving parts remain the same. If you and your spouse have been together for more than 20 years and are over 50 years old, then there is no clear, simple way to split up. After this much time as a married couple, the court will demand that property division fairly represent both parties, and ongoing alimony is very likely.

Of course, if you are approaching retirement, you may have a number of investments you've been contributing to for years. These must be divided fairly in order to achieve divorce, and that division is rarely simple.

If there is any silver lining in a silver-haired divorce scenario, it is that you probably won't have to contend with the same custody issues that younger couples often deal with. Still, this is a small consolation prize in the grand scheme of things.

If you want a divorce at any age, you should be able to get one. However, the process is much easier and straightforward if you know what you're getting into. Don't waste precious time on a lengthy, unnecessarily complicated divorce because you didn't do your homework ahead of time. With proper legal counsel, you can ensure that you're prepared for the intricacies of gray divorce, freeing you up to build a new life in a new season.

Source: The Law Office of Castrovinci & Mady, "Property Division," accessed June 30, 2017

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